Over the summer, I interviewed Natalie Mering, aka Bucks County, Pennsylvania singer Weyes Blood, in the sunny back garden of a bar in Greenpoint. It was for a Gen F profile the appeared in the August/September print issue of The FADER, and we talked about a lot of things, including her roots in the Philly noise and New Weird America scenes, her interest in mining the "pop archetypes" of the 20th century, and her practice of "unhinging" her voice when she sings, as though she were "blasting harmonically" through "two open alligator jaws." The technique helped explain the almost debilitating swell of emotion she manages to pack into each one of melodically acrobatic folk songs, although there was one thing she said to me that day—something that actually didn't make it into the piece—that actually made me tear up. It was her description of the lyrical inspiration by her new album, The Innocents, which we're streaming in full below:
"The album is about that phase in your early 20s where you go through your first real relationships, your first real breakups, go through your first real doubting yourself and the world," she'd said. "There’s this kind of robust confidence that I had as a teenager that became really constricted and slowly, like, weighted down by sensory experience by the time I was in my mid-20s. This record was kind of, like, innocent. It’s called The Innocents. So it’s the concept of being young enough to not really understand the implications of your decisions and then kind of feeling the weight later and being, like, but I was innocent. Like, did I deserve this? But it’s a beautiful thing, because we all deserve it and it’s fine and everyone goes through it—just learning how to relate to other people and have relationships." The Innocents is out October 21st via Mexican Summer, and it's about as startlingly plainspoken and universally resonant as Mering's words were on that day. Watch a video for "Some Winters" here.